• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court expanded a property owner’s rights in eminent domain cases by requiring that the state show a substantial connection between the harm asserted by the state and its proposed remedy.

The Nollans owned a small beachfront house they wished to expand. As a condition for a permit, California asked the Nollans to grant a permanent beach access easement, asserting that this access would alleviate the problem of the public being unable to view the ocean. By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled against California, finding that the connection between the public harm and the state’s proposed remedy was too tenuous, thereby limiting the broad right of eminent domain states had enjoyed in the past. The public easement, the Court argued, did not improve the public’s view of the ocean. In the majority opinion, Justice Antonin ScaliaScalia, Antonin;Nollan v. California Coastal Commission][Nollan v. California Coastal Commission] wrote that a state must show a substantial connection between the harm asserted in an eminent domain taking and the state’s proposed remedy. Justices William J. Brennan, Jr., Harry A. Blackmun, and John Paul Stevens dissented, arguing that it was wrong for the majority to insist on more than a looser, merely rational connection between the damage and the remedy in cases of this kind.Property rights;Nollan v. California Coastal Commission[Nollan v. California Coastal Commission]Takings clause;Nollan v. California Coastal Commission[Nollan v. California Coastal Commission]

Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co.

Property rights

Public use doctrine

Takings clause

Zoning

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